Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First City Council meeting

Last night was my first meeting as city councilman. A Capital Facilities Plan (CFP), an equipment lease agreement, and oh yes, once again a proposal for a pony express statue. I had spoken with the city engineer, Chris Trusty, previous to the meeting regarding the CFP, and knew is was going to be tabled. The equipment lease agreement is an opportunity for the city to be better positioned to have the equipment needed to meet our needs and to do so at a fair/low cost. The statue proposal has made its way to two meetings already and was back again. Mayor Jackson presented a proposal to have a Pony Express statue created by an Alpine resident to be placed along the pony express trail to be celebrated during the 150th Anniversary of the Pony Express this summer. In the proposal were beautiful parks, maps and designs. However, the likelihood of completing the work necessary is very unlikely. Therefore, the statue would be placed at city hall. In a way, defeating the point of wanting the statue in the first place to be placed along the pony express trail for the celebration. Aside from that, it seems there are better opportunities for the city to spend its limited resources on projects that have greater value to the residents. There was a second proposal to lease the original statue from the Hall cousins at $5k/yr for 5 years with a purchase,or possible donation at the end of the 5 years. If a donation was strongly likely, I'd like to have seen that suggested by the statue owner. As was shared in the meeting last night by Ryan Ireland, once you've paid $25k into the cost of the statue, at what cost would we walk away from our sunk costs?? And finally, I received multiple emails and phone calls from residents who did not support this statue proposal.
In the end, the statue proposal was voted down, 4-1. Erik Cieslak was the lone yes vote. Sure, I appreciate culture and arts, however, I didn't feel that this proposal, at this time, financed this way was the best option for Eagle Mountain.